Left Foot Charley Pinot Gris

Maker: Left Foot Charley, Traverse City, Michigan, USALFC Pinot Gris

Place of origin: Tale Feathers Vineyard, Old Mission Peninsula AVA, Traverse City, Michigan, USA

Vintage: 2011

ABV: 13.5%

Purchased for $18

Miscellaneous label info: Tale Feathers is “1.8 acres of sandy loam soils facing due west in the heart of Old Mission Peninsula.” Harvested 10/17/11, 7.8 tons, 23.3 Brix sugar at harvest, TA: 7g/1, Residual Sugar: 3g/1. So there.

Appearance: Pale gold with long broad legs.

Nose: Grapey and semi-sweet. Hardwood smoke, hard apple cider, pear.

On the palate: Full bodied and, again, semi-sweet. Golden Delicious apples, Bartlett pear, plum.

Finish: Medium dry. A touch of cedar and a little peach linger in the mouth.

Parting words: I’ve reviewed wines from Left Foot Charley before, so I’ll spare you a rehash of where this winery is and what they do. Like the other LFC wines I’ve had, this is a very good wine with great varietal and terroir-driven character. It has all the characteristics of fine Pinot Gris from Alsace or elsewhere, but it also has a light, bright (but not tart) character its French cousins often lack. It also lacks the voluptuous mouthfeel of Alsatian whites, but it’s plenty sexy as it is.

This wine does well with the usual white wine fare like poultry and seafood, but has enough depth and complexity to hold one’s attention on its own. It could probably have been fine with another six months to a year in the bottle too, but it’s best not to push things too much with a Gris. The price is reasonable for a vintage varietal that more than delivers on its promises. Left Foot Charley’s 2011 Pinot Gris is recommended.

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